THE people of Lahardane are ‘angry and annoyed’ at what they see as an inadequate GP service for the village, which has seen close to 200 private patients leave the practice.
A public meeting took place in the Lahardane Community Centre last evening (Monday) where the community expressed their frustration at the GP service in the village since the retirement of Dr Paul Nolan in August 2018.
Dr Nolan’s practice was taken over by Dr Attila Frank but the community have been informed he is due to leave the practice in six weeks time - with no permanent doctor appointed to take his place.
Locals called the meeting fearing that if they do not make a stand they will be left without a permanent GP.
Mary Gibbons, a member of the community, told The Mayo News that there has been no continuity of care since Dr Frank took over the practice as he is not always available and locum doctors were often on duty.
“People are very angry and annoyed at the moment and we don’t want to lose our GP service. The surgery was closed on the Friday of the bank holiday with no notice to say it was closed. When you ring, you get an answering machine saying if there is an emergency to go the Deel Medical Centre in Crossmolina.
“There has also been occasions when Dr Frank has not been there and you have to deal with a locum and other times people have had appointments cancelled at short notice. We don’t have a nurse and there is no continuity of care, especially for elderly people who rely on the service,” she said.
Ms Gibbons said that it is estimated that around 1,100 patients rely on the practice with many of them elderly with no transport to go to Crossmolina which is the closest alternative practice. She said she understands that between 150 and 200 private patients have left the practice but medical card holders have been told they can only leave in exceptional circumstances.
The community have been informed that a locum doctor will take over from Dr Frank when he leaves but there is concern that a permanent replacement will not be found.
“The service at the moment is totally inadequate and we know something has to be done about it. We want a doctor and a nurse and a service which provides continuity of care for the community. We cannot let this lie because if we do we feel we’d lose our doctor,” she concluded.